Thursday, 30 June 2016, 04:30am
Jason Roy falls just short of record as England win ODI series
Roy's 13 fours and three sixes was enough anyway, at The Oval, to power England to a six-wicket win with almost two overs to spare - after Sri Lanka had set them their second-highest one-day international run chase, in a match shortened to 42 overs per side by rain.
Eoin Morgan's team have therefore wrapped up the Royal London Series, with a 2-0 lead and just one match remaining in Cardiff on Saturday.
Roy, who shared England's highest stand for any wicket with Alex Hales in last week's 10-wicket win at Edgbaston, was in the thick of it again.
Without Hales this time, his opening partner nursing a back injury suffered in the field as Sri Lanka piled up 305 for five, Roy fell only five runs short of England's highest individual score - Robin Smith's 167 against Australia at Edgbaston in 1993.
He could nonetheless reflect with great satisfaction after his second-wicket stand of 149 with Joe Root (65) had put England on track to knock off a Duckworth-Lewis target of 308 on a belter of a pitch.
"A lot of hard work has gone into it, and to see the rewards is incredibly special," said the 25-year-old.
"At my home ground, in a big game, to win a series, these things are incredibly important to me - so I'm pretty stoked.
"What a day, an incredible win for the boys ... to back up my performance at Edgbaston is extremely special."
He admitted to some disappointment at getting out before England completed their chase, having got them within 27 runs by the time he was bowled by Nuwan Pradeep.
But Roy, like his captain Morgan, believes the current England team have enough star quality to beat Smith's record in due course.
"Yes, 100% someone could break that," he said, making sure to thank his team-mates for building collective confidence.
"The boys in the dressing-room allow me to go out there, enjoy myself, play the way I want to play - I've got no worries about getting out in the first over, or whatever, because I know the boys are backing me."
Morgan said: "Within our batting line-up, I think certainly we have guys who have talent and ability to push past that (record).
"Certainly, the other day, if we'd batted first at Edgbaston ... you'd think one of them would (have gone) past it.
"With the ability and power in the side, we have a lot of match-winners - which is something to be proud of and not take for granted."
Morgan is beginning to run out of superlatives for Roy's batting, but added: "Part and parcel of being a successful international player is making form count, and Jason has epitomised that today.
"You get on a huge run, and you cash in - and to cash in like he did today, it was certainly a match-winning innings for us.
"He's probably shown the experience of a player way beyond his years.
"A lot of guys might have got 80 or 90, or even a hundred, and then got out - to go and make that many, and a substantial match-winning contribution, was outstanding.
"The manner in which he plays, and our batting unit plays, we do take risks - but we are minimising them by training really hard.
"We have enough firepower to do that, and Jason's innings today reinforces confidence in out batting line-up."
The only lingering concern for England is Hales' fitness, and Morgan hinted he may be a doubt to face Sri Lanka again at the weekend.
"It's too early to call," he said.
"He's being assessed again tomorrow afternoon, with a view - we hope - to take part in training on Friday."
Morgan's opposite number Angelo Mathews, one of four batsmen to pass 50 for the tourists, must digest ODI series defeat to add to a 2-0 Test scoreline in England's favour too.
"I thought we had a good score on the board, but we didn't bowl well," he said.
"Our bowlers were pretty ordinary, but it was an outstanding effort by Jason.
"He batted brilliantly ... and took the game away from us.
"He took us on from the word go and was taking brilliant, calculated risks."
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Jason Roy hit a brilliant hundred against Sri Lanka